Thursday, October 11, 2018

Response to Route 1 Reporter

Please note that this is no longer the official Blog of the MRPD Chief or the MRPD. The acting chief would have no clue how to use it and whoever is appointed the new chief will certainly want to create his/her own forms of communication about public safety in Mount Rainier. I created this Blog back in 2006 and contributed to it almost daily until my forced retirement last April. So, I consider it my property and will continue to use it to occasionally offer useful commentary.

Yesterday, October 10, 2018, Route 1 reporter Michael Theis requested my reaction or comment on the release of the report of the financial investigation into the Mount Rainier Police Department. I responded to him via e-mail today but it was too long to include in a Facebook post so I'll use this old Blog instead and post a link to it on Facebook. 

Also note that I reserve the right to respond to comments, or not. 

With that said, here is my response to Mr. Theis:

"My first reaction to the report is that there is a glaring omission - the reason(s) for the number of citation dismissals. There is no mention of the fact that there are a number of valid reasons that a parking citation would have to be voided or reduced. Warning tickets, tickets adjudicated by the District Court, tickets voided for missing critical information to name a few. The report and the City Manager's biased interpretive letter to residents would have the reader believe that members of the PD voided or reduced citations/tickets illegally or with the intent of defrauding the City of funds due. In fact, the report does not present even a shred of evidence that anything of the sort occurred. You, continue to perpetuate the idea that members of the PD were stealing money from the City without taking into consideration that these voided/reduced citations were done properly. Granted the report does not give you evidence that theft or impropriety occurred but it certainly does not present any evidence that would lead to unsubstantiated accusations of theft!  I also need to reiterate that I opposed the transfer of parking citation payments from City Hall to the police department. I believed at the time and continue to believe that it is unethical for the PD to accept payments on the citations they issue. It undermines the public's expectation that we enforce the City's civil code impartially and ultimately undermines our integrity. In my professional opinion, it's just bad policy and practice regardless of the fact that other jurisdictions do it. There was also a significant cost to the City as we had to pay over $1,300 to reprint our parking citations to have the new payment location and address on the back of the citation. ComPlus also had to re-configure the automatic citation printer used by the PEO to include this information, but I don't recall if there was a cost involved.

The report redacted the names of the persons involved in the voiding/reduction of citations, but it certainly focuses the responsibility of all failures on the PD and its leadership. It totally ignores the participation of the City Manager in the voiding/reduction of parking citations. She was directly involved in almost 40 cases, reducing in one instance over $4,000 in fines due to less than $1,200. She also reduced one $30 citation to 50 cents. That's right, 50 cents! If you want a list of the citations voided by the City Manager I believe the FOP president has that information. The report also does not address the City Manager's failure to resolve the coin issue, and it does not include the fact that the $2,000,000+ owed the City in unpaid citations and the need to upgrade the City's parking meters to accept credit card payments were identified by the PD staff. 

Now just a couple points on the parking meter coin controversy. The City Manager's interpretive letter quoted several emails between her and me mentioning the fact that she canceled the Dunbar contract because of a belief (primarily mine) that the PD had plenty of armed guards to transport coin revenue to Dunbar's facility for processing and delivery to the bank. What we learned was that Dunbar's policy didn't allow us to do that. We also learned that the City's bank would not accept uncounted coins from us directly. So, we accumulated and safeguarded literally thousands of dollars in coins while trying to come up with a solution. Considering the fact that only the City Manager, at the direction of the Mayor & Council, has the authority to enter into a binding contract and no one in the PD, including me as the Chief of Police, has the authority to contract with anyone to do anything, we had no choice but to store and safeguard those coins. We treated them like any other piece of evidence, found or seized property. Considering that we had no choice but to safeguard the coins, I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what we did wrong and what we should have done differently. I also need to again applaud the efforts of Kevin Greenville in getting SunTrust Bank to take the uncounted coins and get them out of our hair. Once that was accomplished I understand it took several more months to find a company to handle the loose coins for us during which time the PD stored and safeguarded those coins. I suppose that was the PD's fault, too! 

Lastly, you had previously reported that there was a possibility that someone in the PD skimmed 40 pounds of "quarters" per month over a 13-month period in order to account for a perceived drop in coin revenue. That assumption ignores the fact that our meters take dimes and nickles, too, so your theft estimate is not only unsubstantiated but also overblown. Nevertheless, I continue to believe that no one in the PD stole anything from anyone while taking citation payments over the counter or out of a sealed bag of coins, inside a locked cabinet, inside a locked office with card-restricted access."

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

MRPD Calls for Service Report: March 28-30

At about 12pm on March 29th MRPD officers took reports on four cases of vandalism/theft from vehicles parked in the Thomas Stone Elementary School parking lot. During their investigation they reviewed the school's security camera footage. The footage showed that a black SUV drove into the parking lot at about 11:30am and 38 seconds later it is seen fleeing the scene. During that 38 seconds someone in the SUV broke into the four vehicles and stole property from inside three of them. The video was not detailed enough to help identify the SUV or the suspects.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

MRPD Calls for Service Report: April 9-11

Date
Time
Incident Type
Location
04/09/2018
08:23
THEFT FROM AUTO
3200 block Rhode Island Ave
04/09/2018
09:02
T - Traffic Stop
2900 block Bunker Hill Rd
04/09/2018
09:12
PREMISE CHECK
4000 block 34th St
04/09/2018
10:22
PREMISE CHECK
3100 block Chillum Rd – 7/11
04/09/2018
10:26
VEHICLE ACCIDENT COMBINED
3100 block Chillum Rd
04/09/2018
10:49
STOLEN VEH
3500 block Perry St
04/09/2018
11:07
ASSIST
3200 m block Rhode Island Ave
04/09/2018
12:03
PREMISE CHECK
1 Municipal Pl
04/09/2018
12:06
PREMISE CHECK
4100 block Kaywood Pl
04/09/2018
12:14
ASSIST
2500 block Allison St
04/09/2018
12:33
PARKING ENFORCMENT
4600 block 30th St
04/09/2018
13:14
PREMISE CHECK
1 Municipal Pl
04/09/2018
13:50
PREMISE CHECK
4500 block Eastern Ave – BP
04/09/2018
14:33
PREMISE CHECK
3300 block Chillum Rd
04/09/2018
15:15
PREMISE CHECK
4000 block 36th St
04/09/2018
15:32
PREMISE CHECK
3200 block Rhode Island Ave
04/09/2018
15:39
PREMISE CHECK
3600 block Oak Ln
04/09/2018
15:44
PREMISE CHECK
4700 block 27th St
04/09/2018
16:24
PREMISE CHECK
2300 block Varnum St
04/09/2018
16:26
SUBJECT STOP
4000 block Cedar Lane Alley
04/09/2018
16:45
PREMISE CHECK
2200 block Varnum St
04/09/2018
16:55
PREMISE CHECK
Queens Manor Apts
04/09/2018
17:22
PREMISE CHECK
4500 block Eastern Ave - BP
04/09/2018
17:26
ASSIST
3500 block Manorwood Dr
04/09/2018
20:13
PREMISE CHECK
2200 block Varnum St
04/09/2018
21:39
PREMISE CHECK
3200 block Rhode Island Ave
04/09/2018
21:40
PREMISE CHECK
3100 block Queens Chapel Rd
04/09/2018
21:49
RESIDENTIAL ALARM
4200 block 34th St
04/09/2018
22:46
PREMISE CHECK
1 Municipal Pl
04/10/2018
00:19
PREMISE CHECK
3300 block Chillum Rd
04/10/2018
00:29
PREMISE CHECK
4700 block 27th St
04/10/2018
02:05
PREMISE CHECK
4100 block Kaywood Pl
04/10/2018
02:13
PREMISE CHECK
3300 block Chillum Rd
04/10/2018
03:25
PREMISE CHECK
3200 block Rhode Island Ave
04/10/2018
03:57
PREMISE CHECK
Cedar Lane Alley
04/10/2018
06:59
TRAFFIC COMPLAINT
34th St / Allison St
04/10/2018
07:58
PREMISE CHECK
1 Municipal Pl

04/10/2018
08:08
PREMISE CHECK
Queens Manor Apartments

04/10/2018
08:15
PREMISE CHECK
2300 block Varnum St – 7/11

04/10/2018
08:28
FOUND PROPERTY
Municipal Pl / Rhode Island Ave

04/10/2018
08:58
PREMISE CHECK
Queenstown Apt Complex

04/10/2018
09:21
PREMISE CHECK
1 Municipal Pl

04/10/2018
09:59
ASSIST
3300 block Perry St

04/10/2018
10:39
MISC POLICE INCIDENT
3300 block Perry St

04/10/2018
10:56
MISC POLICE INCIDENT
3700 block 36th St

04/10/2018
11:04
PREMISE CHECK
4000 block 36th St

04/10/2018
11:31
PARKING ENFORCMENT
4000 block 33rd St

04/10/2018
11:47
ACCIDENT
3000 block Queens Chapel Rd

04/10/2018
12:33
STOLEN VEH
4000 block 33rd St

04/10/2018
12:53
ACCIDENT
2200 block Varnum St

04/10/2018
13:27
PREMISE CHECK
4700 block 27th St

04/10/2018
13:39
PREMISE CHECK
4000 block 34th St

04/10/2018
14:36
PREMISE CHECK
1 Municipal Pl

04/10/2018
15:37
T - Traffic Stop
3200 block Rhode Island Ave

04/10/2018
15:54
PREMISE CHECK
3100 block Chillum Rd - 7/11

04/10/2018
16:02
PREMISE CHECK
3300 block Chillum Rd

04/10/2018
16:08
PREMISE CHECK
3100 block Queens Chapel Rd

04/10/2018
16:31
T - Traffic Stop
Arundel Rd / 29th St

04/10/2018
16:59
PREMISE CHECK
29th St / Arundel Rd

04/10/2018
17:20
PREMISE CHECK
4500 block Eastern Ave – BP

04/10/2018
17:40
ASSIST
2900 block Stonybrook Dr

04/10/2018
19:24
PREMISE CHECK
2300 block Varnum St

04/10/2018
22:27
PREMISE CHECK
3300 block Chillum Rd

04/10/2018
22:27
PREMISE CHECK
1 Municipal Pl

04/10/2018
22:57
ACCIDENT
3100 block Chillum Rd – 7/11

04/10/2018
23:46
CDS COMPLAINT
3200 block Queenstown Dr

04/11/2018
00:57
INJURED PERSON
Queens Chapel Rd Nb / Chillum Rd

04/11/2018
01:04
T - Traffic Stop
3100 block Queens Chapel Rd Sb

04/11/2018
01:32
PREMISE CHECK
Cedar Lane Alley

04/11/2018
01:39
PREMISE CHECK
4500 block 30th St

04/11/2018
04:09
PREMISE CHECK
3200 block Rhode Island Ave Sb

04/11/2018
05:13
PREMISE CHECK
1 Municipal Pl

04/11/2018
05:20
DOMESTIC
3100 block Chillum Rd – 7/11

04/11/2018
06:28
TRAFFIC COMPLAINT
34th St / Allison St